As we came out of choir group tonight it was cold and icy. The snow that had fallen earlier had turned from slush on the car park to hard ridges and furrows and ice.
I walked across to the car, managing not to slip. The car started reassuringly. The cold air from the heater took a few minutes to warm up. Then the screen started to demist. A car flew past in the dark. It’s headlights were not switched on so I flashed mine to try and get their attention.
I carefully drove off the car park and onto the road. Luckily it was wet but not slippery. The gritter lorries had clearly been past. Up to the traffic lights, turn right. Now I was on the main road, safe for a moment to drive at normal speed. But I live in a hill so I wanted to park up facing downhill. The only way to do that was to drive up the other side of the hill But I had a plan. Drive halfway up then take a short, flat, side road through the housing estate to get to my street half way down the hill. .. Well I got to the side road, and it was covered in a thick icy snowy layer. Solid, slippery. A steep slope to one side. I dropped into a lower gear. I did not want to slide across the road, on black ice. Keeping to the centre of the road, I drove at the slowest pace I could. Parked cars on either side made me fear hitting their wing mirrors. Nothing happened. My car slid and glided past, slowly and gently. My heart was thudding and I felt my neck tensing. Half way. A road bisecting my slippery route…. Anything coming fast up the hill and I would not have been able to stop safely. Now the road started to twist and turn. The slope increasingly downhill. The grip between the tyres and the asphalt was reducing. I applied the breaks gently. Close to the hill where I had to turn down onto my street. Nothing coming. The snow transformed into moisture, salted and defrosted. Slow turn. Almost in slow motion. It was too dark to see any frosty patches. So I carefully drove down hill in first gear. I got home slightly shaken.
I got my partner to read this. He said “it’s a bit boring” which is honest.